More Noise = More Fun? Citroën’s WRC Return

After a year’s sabbatical, multiple World Rally Championship-winning team Citroën Racing are returning to the WRC after a very successful year in the World Touring Car Championship.

Their newest competitor, dubbed the C3 WRC, was unveiled at the recent 2016 Paris Motor Show, with Citroën claiming the concept is very close to the machine that will make its debut in Monte Carlo next year.

The team have also said that the 2017 car will sound much rowdier, with Citroën Racing’s Engine Manager, Patrice Davesne, stating: “With the new engine, we have more power at higher revs and that means much more noise.” This is mainly due to a new FIA WRC technical regulation which has allowed turbo restrictors to be enlarged from 33mm to 36mm, providing a 20 per cent increase in air flow and in turn lifting maximum power output from 300bhp to 380bhp. Check out WRC’s video above for the full story.

Citroen_WRC_2017_7927

For the 2017 season, the rules have also been relaxed in regards to aerodynamics, meaning cars can now be designed wider and longer, allowing for much more aggressive body styling whilst still retaining their original production base shape.

Of course, Citroën isn’t the only manufacturer coming out to play in 2017 with a new car; Toyota is making its long-awaited World Rally Championship return with the Yaris WRC, and Hyundai recently took the wraps off its new i20 WRC.

Citroen_WRC_2017_7926

So what do you guys think – will the new rules make rallying more appealing to the general public?

Either way, it’s nice to see one international motorsport championship allowing its competing cars to become more powerful, faster and noisier instead of heading in the opposite direction.

The Speedhunters

Images: Citroën Racing

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82 comments

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1

Citroen was one of the companies that killed WRC, by demanding an end to homologation. Long live Subaru! My family and I won't buy any of the other rally brands.

3

It would be nice if there would be road version of these wide body 4wd machines. I would maybe then like Citgroen c3,or Polo,or Yaris, or even i20.......until that,they will be eco shitbox in my book.

4

MichaelGrayen  Some better times,right there.

5

I do like more power,noise and more agressive areo tho. :D

6

The rule changes for next years Championship have me more excited for WRC than I have been for a number of years. I actually like the current crop of cars, but 2017 versions look like they are going to be absolute weapons. I hope that Citroen will be able to provide a competitive car for Meeke and Breen to challenge the VW's.

7

Even if I'm a baguette and frenchs are known for their patriotism... That citroëne cactus is ugly, and damn this car sounds like a fart can. I don't think they'll do much without Loeb.. I still got some hope :D (damn that accent haha, sorry it was too funny)

8

start of the return of a group b-esque era?

9

It´s seems the new WRC season will be getting hot again! really bored of VW´s POLO by now, although i´ve disliked all citroens in WRC (except Xsara) more competitors and new rules is a good path to a good season. can´t wait! .

10

toddwithrow9 Been that since the start of the World Rally Car rules in 1996-97

11

bakayaru Subaru was the first manufacturer to develop a World Rally Car back in 1996. That was the end of group A. Only Mitsubishi continued with group A car.

12

I was hoping for Subaru's return, when they made a 1.6 liter turbo engine for the street- version of the Levorg.

13

A bit more power, a bit more downforce, active central diff. Nothing really changed. 
The good thing is more manufacturers. 
The bad thing is unrelatable cars, all from the same mold.

14

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15

Wider.

Lower.
More noise.
More power.
I see nothing wrong here, carry on.

16

Subaru and Mitsubishi worked under homologation rules, providing the WRX and Lancer Evo to consumers. Ford, Citroen, and Peugeot applied to the WRC, to end homologation, and provided FWD non-turbo cars to customers. Please shut your ignorant pie-hole!

17

Man, all that is needed now is the return of Subaru (I won't even hold out hope for Mitsu) and the field will be complete.

18

I love this. This further relaxation of the rules to allow teams to go a bit crazier with aero is awesome. I also love that Toyota is now trying to compete.... but the yaris? They couldn't have picked one of their more exciting cars.

19

Hasn't been a real WRC since Subaru left, how can any of the current manufacturers say they're the best without having to beat Subaru?

20

Therealstig Because Subaru haven't built a competitive WRC car in over a decade?

21

Therealstig
More like WRC is murdered by a certain Frenchman after 2003 season.

22

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23

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24

The very worst company in rally, was Volvo. Volvo was told, under homologation rules, to sell rally cars to consumers. Instead, Volvo secretly stripped all the expensive components off their cars, and sold them as standard cars. Ford also cheated the rules, selling garbage Sierra cars instead of Cosworths or RS500's. Subaru is the best company for its fans, even selling the 22B, Cosworth blocks, Prodrive parts, and the STi.

25

EXACTLY this! Citroen sells GARBAGE to consumers, and then gets foreign coachworks to build their bespoke rally cars. Stupid French! They never won a war either.

26

bakayaru You are the ignorant here. Subaru continued to build WRX models but from 1997 to 2008 they were using cars build under WRC rules, not under group A homologation rules.

27

bakayaru How is it cheating to sell the regular Sierra? Thats how homologation specials work. You build the demanded number and then use it in motorsport as a halo car for the brand. 
You really think every Impreza is a fire breathing rally monster? Even with 66 kW and fwd?

Subaru is a nice brand and one that I've always liked but seriously, stop the fanboism. Not cool

28

bakayaru Citroën has their operation based in France actually. 

- Toyota used to have their team in Cologne Germany. Now the new team is in Finland with Tommi Mäkinen.
- Subaru had outsourced their rally operation to Prodrive in UK.
- Mitsubishi's team was also in UK
- Ford had a factory team in UK until they outsourced to M Sport, also in UK

It is true that Citroën's line up doesn't match their rally success. French track record on war is irrelevant though.

29
AndrewBradleyThorpe

I think it's a great thing to take a 'less exciting' car to turn into a racecar. Let's the engineers in Toyota have some fun along with playing with the imaginations of the rest of us.

30

racerlordheiman Therealstig You almost make it sound like being successful is something that Loeb and Citroën should be ashamed of. I'd wager that they're probably not. If anything, it's their rivals who should be held accountable.

31

Even a simple, BASIC search will show you that Ford was cited for their chassis swap. You brought up group A - not me. WRC began with homologation rules. When most of the brands fought against them, the rules were dropped. Only Subaru and Mitsubishi continued to sell good cars to buyers. Ford, Peugeot, Citroen - they chose to sell garbage to their customers. You're the one that is trolling my comments. Homologation rules exist, to prevent greedy companies from winning races while selling garbage. Citroen does exactly that. Their road cars are junk.

32

The WRC rules were CHANGED. They went from using real cars, to the S2000 chassis - to bespoke kit cars built by small coach builders. It's become a pay2win event. I'm curious as to what you could possibly gain, by supporting non-homologation??! The 'GTO' badge represented homologation. You're a stupid troll, and certainly not a rally enthusiast.

33

Esawo Have you been watching the WRC? Meeke could win next year. More than could. Should really.

34

Paddy McGrath Therealstig perhaps not but Subaru Rally Team USA have been winning the Rally America for nearly 10 years on the trot (2010 was won by mitsubishi) so it's about time they put more effort into the WRC to be honest. I wish the cars were restricted to their drivetrain layout they came from the factory with, I can't buy a 4wd citroen DS so why would I want to watch one?

35

Paddy McGrath Therealstig Bring back homoligation and we'll see a nice crop of super hatchbacks on the street...

36

JakWhite Paddy McGrath Therealstig Subaru may have been winning a lot of Rally America, but thats like high school flag football compared to the FIA pros. For instance, look at K.Block: He dominated in Rally America and couldnt hardly crack into the top 20 in WRC. Dont get me wrong, I love the dude, but the jump from US rally to WRC is one of the biggest out there. Hence why there are no American drivers even near WRC. We simply don't really care. Same with USTCC. Did you even know we had a US touring car championship? Neither did I until a few years ago. They're still rocking 90's Honda and BMW chassis there, whereas if you look at FIA BTCC or WTCC, those guys are in bleeding-edge factory race prototypes with major works sponsorship, or they are in last year's factory castoff and relegated to the back of the pack. Oh, and none of our drivers can get even withing shouting distance of a drive. We just don't grow up with it like they do.

37

Paddy McGrath racerlordheiman Therealstig Dude isn't it always the case? the "golden years" of Schumacher and Senna were also years where they dominated to the point of boring fans. Later, it seems great, but I still remember "Shumie will win, as usual" being uttered all throughout the late 90s and early 00's.

38

if you can't relate to a sport what's the point in it being there? I can go watch football, and then play it with my mates, alright not to the same skill or infront of a crowd but the idea is there, I can't however drift my 4WD polo down the local lanes, because they don't exist. F1 is a lot different to the WRC in that F1 pioneers technology that's why people watch it, it's an amazing spectacle of speed and class. WRC pioneers what? There's a reason that WRC is hardly even pushed on us on TV, almost no-one cares. Yeah it takes skills to pilot an extremely capable car through snowy woods at 4am but you can't get one of them on the forecourt or anything even close to similar, at least with touring cars you can, yeah the aero is different to factory but it's not a completely different floor pan, (like WRC for all the 4WD), whilst I respect that the engines regs are there for closer competition in touring cars, that is a drawing point to the sport, makes it more interesting. WRC doesn't have anything like that, the field of cars are too similar to each other (other than looks, all hatchback rallycross cars really) and that's what makes it boring. Group B was brilliant because the cars were no limits AND you could buy something similar off the forecourt..RS200, Audi Sport Quattro to name a pair. WRC on the other hand. It's not what it was.

39

Why do people care about Subaru Imprezas but not so much Skoda Fabias? Both were in the WRC, why do people care about Evos but not seat cordobas? Both were in the WRC, something to do with seeing yourself in a shop window and dreaming I think.

40

AndrewBradleyThorpe I think they're trying to make the car competitive because of overall weight, a GT86 would be heavier therefor slower.

41

don't get me wrong, I wouldn't turn down tickets if offered but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it like I do for other forms of motorsport.

42

bakayaru totally with you on this, homologation NEEDS to come back big style.

43

One screams rally and motorsport, the other, doesn't even scream, both top models at the time, one a living legend, the other, hasn't been seen since 1999.

44

Nice! WRC is heading to a good direction! Cant wait to see toyota, the yaris already sounds mean!

45

if homologation is back then it would be more interesting

46

JakWhite I think we get it, you like Subarus and everything else is shit ^^

Winning Rally America is one thing. Winning the WRC or the ERC is another.

47

JakWhite that's only your personal opinion. Only.

48

bakayaru I'm not supporting anything here. I just stated the facts. Manufacturers wanted bring down the costs and Subaru was one of them. Blaming Citroën for rule changes made in 1996 is just stupid. Manufacturers back then were Subaru, Ford, Mitsubishi and Toyota. All of them dumped huge amounts of money to homologate parts that are irrelevant for buying public. Look where it got Mitsubishi in the end.

World rally car rules were kit car rules from the start in 1997. The later change in rules did not change the idea behind the rules. Do you really think Subarus in WRC since 1997 had anything to do with WRX models. First off all they were always built by Prodrive in UK starting with Legacy. Then in 1997 they switched to kit car rules, which were named World Rally Car, and those were again built and developed by Prodrive in UK.

Ford built Escort Cosworth on Sierra platform, but so what. They produced over 7000 units when the homologation limit was only 2500. I don't know what's your problem with Sierra. The Sierra Cosworth was built on the same chassis as normal Sierra and they produced plenty more than they needed.,

I brought up group A because that was the last true homologation rules in top level rallying.

And you don't know nothing about me so don't start assume anything.

49

The only problem with WRC is not that its not appealing, its that you just cant seem to watch it anywhere!! TV coverage is terrible and no its difficult to find torrents for it too. 

just make it more accessible! The racing in unbelievably incredible watch in itself.

50

@Ben I think you can subscribe online now and get a full highlights package for pretty cheap.

51

D1RGE EXE Paddy McGrath racerlordheiman Therealstig It is, which makes it all the more baffling.

52

bakayaru Ford, Peugeot and Citroen don't sell garbage. They sell affordable and practical cars which is what most people are looking for.

The market for the Subaru WRX and other performance cars is very small comparatively and there is little money to be made.
Besides non WRX/STI versions of subaru cars are quite boring, slow and unattractive while some 2wd performance hatchbacks from french manufacturers sometime end up being faster on the road than an STI Impreza thanks to lighter weight and a more efficient stock suspension setup. This happened for instance a few years ago when a TV show rented a renault Megane cup to film a duel between an impreza WRX and another 4wd car I don't remember (Lancer or Golf R ?). In the end they realized the Megane was faster in most areas, european narrow roads and short tracks while the impreza could only regain the lead on F1 type racetrack where the power could make a difference in the long straights.

Let's face reality. A stock impreza STI is a good base but in stock form it is an oversteering pig. The 4wd is helpful in snowy/wet conditions but is overkill unless you are facing tractions issues on a semi regular basis,

53

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54

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55

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56

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57

Paddy McGrath D1RGE EXE racerlordheiman Therealstig Bafflement is exactly the right word, not excitement for example. Which it should be. You are right that rivals should have done a better job but however respectable it may be, without losing, winning isn't so great anymore.

58

No, it's fact. Rally enthusiasts prefer better cars, go to any grassroots rally event and you'll see shit tonnes of evo's and subarus. You won't see a Citroen c3 there. Ahh yeah it's because Citroen don't make a 4wd c3 so no enthusiast of rally cares for it.

59

Remember, the only people that matter here are enthusiasts of rally, since they're the only people who watch the sport.

60

No fans, no sport

61

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62

The thing that gets me with the WRC is this, Ford make a Focus RS, VW make the Golf R both 4WD quick hatches, I wonder what the "R" letters stand for and where the heritage come from for these models? Rally? Yet they're nowhere to be seen in rally.

64

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65

Paddy McGrath Yes! I've been watching the WRC this way from Canada for the last 2 years! It was not possible at all to watch before WRC+.

66

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67

JakWhite You have to understand that the world is a diverse place. I'm from a place where rallies are on gravel and snow and I assume that you are too, but that's not the case everywhere. Go to France, Spain or Italy and you'll see that they drive on tarmac. Evos and Subies make a lot less sense there especially as road cars. A small fwd hot hatch is much more obvious choice.

On the other hand Evos and Subarus are maybe the most boring cars you can find on rally. BMW M3, Ford Escort, Toyota AE86 and Toyota Starlet for example are the cars that people over here go to see in rallies. Also Honda Civic and Integra Type R are popular here. 4wd rally cars are more of an old men's choice. 

Also Evo and WRX road cars are seen as quite ridiculous by many who rally them.

68

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69

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72

I'm a HUGE Subaru fanboy, but I think @rt33 has a valid point JakWhite. The amount of effort SRT USA have put in is fantastic (and long may it continue), but there is zero comparison between their efforts in Rally America and WRC. There have been other big-budget competitors for short periods in RA, but nowhere near the sustained competition that SWRT faced in the WRC.
RA cars approximately equate to R4 specification cars with a few more freedoms allowed. They are great to watch, but they are blown away by the current crop of WRCar's. The predictability of the WRC in the last few years has seemingly made people oblivious to the capabilities of the current crop of cars: there is no way to get from A-to-B faster on a B road.
As someone who was drawn to Subaru in the Group A era, the last couple of years of their WRC involvement were painful to watch. The cars had potential (much of which has been realised in the hands of privateers) but, at the time, they just weren't competitive. One wonders if McRae's return would have turned things around but, sadly, that is a question we will never have the answer to.
For me the Group A era was the pinnacle of WRC as there was the narrowest divide between the showroom and competition variants of the car. As much as I would love a return to that age, it's unlikely to ever happen as it will scare off the majority of manufacturers. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but I would rather see a WRC with 5+ manufacturers involved, then a series with just one or two. 
I think brand loyalty is a wonderful thing, but don't let it blind you to the scope of a sport you are obviously passionate about...

73

"A bit more power" is a rather conservative statement Vittorio Jano: they are looking at 20%+ more. In theory that much should make a significant difference on the stages!

74

I'd say you hit the nail on the head Vittorio Jano. I would like nothing more than a return to the Group A regulations for the (admittedly limited) parity it would bring between the road and competition cars, but it would scare off the majority of manufacturers.
We finally have a decent number of manufacturers involved again and cars that, on paper at least, look like they are going to be absolute weapons. As long as all the manufacturers can produce competitive platforms (and put capable drivers behind the wheel) we should be in for a cracking season in 2017.

75

tbtstt JakWhite This is pretty much exactly what I mean, whilst they are capable cars, they are OVER capable and people can't relate to them. I'm not slating their performance, I just want the sport as a whole take a few steps back..to go forwards, or complete manufacturer freedom on modifications otherwise the cars are too similar. 

Whilst I appreciate that a Golf GTI is a better car on the road than a Subaru, is a GTI as good as a subaru offroad, where it is intended for? No, so in comparison when it comes to people saying modern subarus are rubbish, they're not, it's horses for courses. 

If the SRT RA WRX was a base of standard to go from for next gen WRC cars, I think we'd see a rekindling. Instead of faster, faster, faster, just rally the cars available, not something that's 100% custom made and only shares the vague looks of the car sold. Fans could get behind their chosen manufacturer and model. You know, like what made the BTCC great years ago.

76

Vittorio Jano JakWhite Totally agree, but all those escorts, M3's, ae86's are all the same drivetrain they left factory with aren't they. People love them because they can HAVE them. Which is my point entirely, you can't HAVE a 4wd skoda fabia without making it yourself. I have nothing against things that aren't 4WD, I want more diversity in the sport which would come with certain rule changes.

77

I would like nothing more than a return to the Group A era, as it spawned some of the greatest affordable performance cars of all time. Problem is, if we returned to those sort of homologation requirements, manufacturer interest would evaporate.
Ford and VW do produce AWD variants, but not the models used for WRC. Citroen have never really reflected the WRC in the showrooms. Toyota are making noises about some sort of performance Yaris, but we'll see if the financial department support that idea, ditto for Hyundai.  
Force the manufacturers to produce a showroom car that reflects the stage variant and you'd end up with a series with one, or perhaps two, manufacturers in it. We have seen that in the WRC (and in various national Championship) and it's boring. As much as I love the efforts of SRT USA in the Rally America Championship, they are the only manufacturer with a works entry, so it is really no surprise they are so dominant. 
The greatest issue with WRC these days is the promotion. The current crop of cars are jaw droppingly fast, but people need to be convinced to go to the stages (or at least turn on the TV) to see them!

78

I guess Citroen just shot itself in the leg, letting Loeb go in 2016..

79

JakWhite well which one turns your head on the street?

80

Vittorio Jano the active diff alone makes a huge difference

81

bakayaru You seem to want daily cars for non-car guys to be at least 200hp and AWD, let alone the fact that you also seem to be the only guy who's right here. I hope you're just trolling, if you're serious, you should open your mind a bit more. By the way, yes Subies are great, but stop worshipping them, there are other car brand in this world.

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